December 12, 2008
Four Christmases *** 1/2 ( 3 1/2 Stars) $16.8 million $69.4 million 2 1/2 weeks Rated: PG-13 Running time: 82 minutes What it's about: After years of leaving the country for Christmas, a couple are forced to spend the holiday with their families. : Our take: Vince Vaughn, as one-half of the trapped couple, is his usual boarish self, but Reese Witherspoon (above) explores her lighter side to great effect. as the other half. Twilight ** ( 2 STARS) $13 million $138.4 million 3 weeks Rated: PG-13 Running time: 121 minutes What it's about: Good-guy vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, above)
December 4, 2008
Australia What it's about : With a can-do Aussie spirit, English aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman, above) and her right-hand man and lover, the Drover, end up rescuing and running the ranch her murdered husband left her. Rated: PG-13 The scoop : Despite the fresh environments, this film is made up of bits and pieces of other movies, including The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, and, yes, Cattle Queen of Montana; and by the...
August 13, 2008
As he showed in his short-lived comedy-sketch TV series, Ben Stiller has a gift for crafting show-biz lampoons that explode the boundaries between burlesque and satire, low and high culture, clowning and parody. One of the funniest things ever put on television was the skit he called "Woody Allen's Bride of Frankenstein," a take-off on Husbands and Wives with a cast of characters that included Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy. It slashed through Allen's psychodrama with a simple, brilliant stroke: Allen's characters often acted monstrously; in Stiller's parody, they were monsters.
October 5, 2007
The new Ben Stiller vehicle The Heartbreak Kid has a killer "high concept" - a husband falls in love with another woman while still on his honeymoon. It's worked twice before, brilliantly, both in its original form as a brisk, sardonic Bruce Jay Friedman short story (called "A Change of Plan") and as an emotionally booby-trapped Elaine May movie, also called The Heartbreak Kid, from 1972. This new version, directed by the Farrelly brothers (There's Something About Mary) and adapted by a backcourt of screenwriters from the '72 screenplay (by Neil Simon)
March 23, 2007
WHAT YOU SAY There were some great movies nominated for this past season's Oscars, and the actors and actresses deserved well-intended accolades and praises. But as a diversion from severity, violence and language, I would prefer to purchase the DVD A Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller, for an evening of fun and fantasy. I think Ben Stiller is a great actor, and he certainly proved his talent in this movie. Freda Garelick, Baltimore THE NEXT QUESTION Actor Terrence Howard stars in Pride, which opens today, as Jim Ellis, a Philadelphia swim coach who takes a team of nonswimmers and turns them into swimmers who win meets.
December 26, 2006
Jermaine Hash insists he doesn't mind being alone inside a closed museum all night. Neither does Allen Cummings, but he allows that, "You do hear sounds in here." "Here" is the Inner Harbor's Maryland Science Center. It's well past midnight on a recent weekday evening, and the two men are describing what it's like to hold one of Baltimore's eeriest jobs: night watchman in an empty, cavernous museum. After all, the night watchmen at New York's Museum of Natural History have to watch over bounding dinosaurs, talking statues, living-history dioramas and restless mummies.